The foundation of the work I do is geared towards improving workplace culture. So I enjoyed this conversation with Kevin Oakes, the head of the world’s leading HR research firm, the Institute for Corporate Productivity. There’s such alignment in our work. We discuss key aspects of his new book, Culture Renovation: 18 Leadership Actions to Build an Unshakeable Company. I love how Kevin describes approaching culture change as a renovation (like a home remodeling project) rather than a full transformation (i.e., leveling the house and starting over). There are tangible items in our conversation that anyone can use to lead and influence change to create a more effective, human workplace culture.
As human beings, we are neurobiologically hardwired for connection. In this insightful conversation I have with Eric Williamson, we talk about how success is dependent upon our ability to form and maintain great relationships with others. He shares his lessons learned from letting his Ego take over and becoming a work jerk (i.e., someone who does not use social skills as a necessary job skill and fails to manage their emotions), how we can avoid the same fate, and how we can still get stuff done when we are faced with jerks. We also talk about the importance and value of being willing to take in feedback, look in the mirror and wade in the messy middle to work on ourselves. I hope you’ll leave our conversation with a newfound appreciation of continuing to work on ourselves, questions to ask to effectively move forward (vs. raise defensiveness), and ways to be effective - even if you find yourself surrounded by jerks.